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Video Interviewing Overview

Why Video Interview?

Video is killing reading

Perhaps it has to do with the psychology video presents. Video presents what text does not; it offers an immediate, moving, and authentic route of interaction and connectivity. Content consumers become interactive audience members, much like interactive theatre where the audience becomes part of the cast. Video thrives off of reactions and comments. People demand certain kinds of content, hold content creators accountable in terms of creativity, authenticity, and fallibility.

Video is becoming the new word-of-mouth. It builds trust, as we see with YouTube channels. Audiences love to tune into their favorite YouTuber to hear their views on clothes, video games, or pop culture. They “trust” their opinions as video makes it seem the person is more “real" to them, more personable. Word-of-mouth is one of the oldest marketing tools (if not the oldest); its experience giving advice and sharing. Companies possess the opportunity to establish a special connection by speaking directly and interacting in tandem with their audiences.

Grades and test scores are useless

The proportion of people without a college education at Google has steadily increased over the years. The criteria of a certain GPA or standardized test score seems like it’s no longer an indicator of a good employee. A recent study by Kingsley Leadership Academy suggests only 12% of C-suite decision makers think grades are an important consideration when hiring new employees. Why? Google may be on to something: using the GPA as a screening method often takes qualified, skilled applicants out of the candidate pool. Google noticed grades, test scores, and a school’s pedigree weren’t a good predictor of job success. Like the renowned former HR chief at Google, Laszlo Bock, stated  “Most interviews are a waste of time because 99.4% of the time is spent trying to confirm whatever impression the interviewer formed in the first 10 seconds".

Hiring via video is the future

Josh Bersin, principal at Bersin by Deloitte, explains how young companies are upending the $100 billion HR assessment market by creating AI video software. From automating job descriptions to looking for candidates via social media, technology is reshaping how people are found and developed. AI video software may seem like a heady pill to swallow—“is it too much?” or “it sounds complicated”. AI may sound like an intimidating technology as it retains vast capabilities. But it’s simple to use—it has to be; like every other consumer, companies want simple and easy integration. Video establishes a meaningful and personalized relationship with companies, while streamlining an intricate labyrinth.

Video Interview: What to look for in a candidate

Wouldn't it be ideal if hiring managers could have some sort of crystal ball to look into to decide whether a candidate is a good fit? Or, at the very least, be able to swipe right?

Aside from a magical gimmick, hiring managers are always looking for the job interview red flags. Is it how they respond to a question? Hiring managers don't have to study for the FBI exam to get the gist of a person. Candidate assessments can be kept simple; hiring managers can foster their skills in focusing on a few basic red flags, inadvertent or not.

Like wishes and other notable items, omne trium perfectum (the "rule of three in Latin) alerts to the fact that a bad candidate distinguishes three behaviors:

Showing apparent disinterest or arrogance

Maybe they're having a bad day, or maybe they're simply a jerk. Our brains tend to fill in an explanation as to "why" some people do things. We do this when people cut us in line, or why strangers would pay for our meal---it happens when good and bad things occur. For some reason, our ever-blabbing brain loves a good narrative! But if a candidate has shown up to an interview and shows no interest, enthusiasm, or displays disdain to be there, it's time for a quick exit. No interview should go the distance in accommodating someone who speaks and acts as if they don't value the company or its time. Subtle signs of disinterest or include not having read more about the company, its mission, or have an idea what the company looks like it's trying to accomplish. Disinterest shows up in not having read the job description thoroughly; candidates may shrug off in presenting how their skills match that to the required skill set.

As for arrogance, a candidate assessment may not look what we usually make it out to be: a loud-mouth who can't stop telling the interviewer how great they are. Arrogance has other forms: not feeling the need to explain why they chose a certain course of action in a situation, that they're a star performer versus a team player, or they speak condescendly of past employers or colleagues. It's always best to go with a gut instinct; maybe a candidate truly was pulling more weight than their colleagues and thus, they speak a bit bitterly about their experience. Focus on their present attitude and ask what they've learned.

Not doing the homework

The standard code for the workplace is casual. Not smart casual or business casual. Simply casual. Hoodies, jeans, and sneakers rule the workplace, thanks to the rise of billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg and other techies making hoodies and jeans work-appropriate. "Inappropriate" clothing may be a subjective term, as every company has its own aesthetic and rules. Dressing for a position at McKinsey looks different than dressing to manage a local food drive's operations. In general, look for a person that invested extra thought and care into their interview outfit. Even if it means wearing an ugly blazer or an ill-fitting dress shirt, it still shows they know they need to shine and put their best foot forward---and they're willing to do just that.

Doing a little something that raises an eyebrow (or two)

If a candidate brings pizza and eats it during an interview, it's time to introduce the next candidate. Most hiring managers understand these kinds of candidates may either not possess the self-awareness to regulate their behavior, or they simply don't care. Either way, these characters will do more harm than good. If they make an interviewer uncomfortable, no doubt they'll make employees uncomfortable. If that occurs, a slew of consequences may occur: employee turnover, lowered morale, missed deadlines, or other not-so-ideal outcomes.

Video Interview: What to look for in a customer-facing role

An interview is more than the succession of questions and answers between a candidate and an interviewer. It is rather about how the candidates: 1) present themselves, 2) organize their thinking, and 3) show the ability to articulate on the spot.

Especially when hiring for customer-facing positions (e.g., salespeople), even more attention should be paid to the implications behind the literal interview responses. Questions should also provide an opportunity for candidates to show their ability to close a deal, reveal what motivates them internally, and give a glimpse into their working style and how they handle challenges.

Top questions to ask in a customer-facing role

Asking candidates the right questions will help you avoid costly hire mistakes and bring the top sales talent to your team. Here are our suggestions:

1. Tell me how you organize your day
  • This “question” aims to reveal how candidates prioritize their daily tasks, such as balancing cultivating relationships, finding new prospects, etc. Those who mention necessary but unimpressive tasks such as cold calling show that they also spend time on work which is monotonous but nonetheless important to do.
  • The candidate’s reply should also show the recruiter how they manage their time and which processes they value most in the sales process. Do they have logical reasoning for spending more time on certain tasks?

This question also gives you a preview of what to expect from your future employee.

2. Describe a time you had a challenging prospect and how you handled the situation
  • This question aims to reveal the candidate’s problem-solving skills. It shows what the candidate considers to be a challenge, and the steps they took to resolve an issue.
  • It also gives an idea of the candidate’s level of resilience, from how they handled the challenging situation and how they subsequently behaved. Did they bounce back from the struggle ready to tackle more challenges?
  • The reply is also an opportunity to admit a mistake or imperfection, implying that they are coachable. A changing workplace environment requires learning skills to tackle new challenges, making coachability an important employable trait.
  • This question can also give the recruiter a sense if the candidate is pessimistic or optimistic. During challenges (of which salespeople face many!), staying positive helps overcome challenges and persevere ahead. A study by Dr. Seligman found that optimistic salespeople, some of whom even lacked aptitude skills, outperformed pessimists with aptitude skills in a company. “Optimistic salespeople outsell pessimistic salespeople from twenty to forty percent.”
3. Why this role and why this team or company?
  • This question looks into their inner motivation for why they chose sales. If it’s just for money or commission, there might be a problem of long-term fit.
  • Being able to identify the benefits of the company and tell the recruiter why it is valuable shows potential for sales skills (identifying benefits/value and then persuading).
  • The reply should help indicate whether or not they fit into the company culture. Eighty-nine percent of hiring failures are due to poor culture fit; therefore it is a very important trait to screen for.
4. Tell me about an important achievement in your life
  • Having the candidate talk about something subjective like an achievement will give insight into what the candidate values in life, whether it be money, power, responsibility or respect in the community.
  • An additional benefit—the candidate will probably also speak about the steps he or she took to get to this accomplishment, showing their pattern of thinking or problem-solving if they had to overcome a challenge to reach it.
5. Have you ever been asked to do something you didn’t know how to do or complete a task outside of your job description? How did you manage the situation?
  • This tests for adaptability, a trait which has been found to predict salespeople’s success. In fact, 69% of hiring managers consider it to be the most important soft skill that they screen for. In today’s increasingly digitized world with changing effects on businesses, skills to overcome these changes are in demand, meaning you need employees who will be able to learn new skills and adapt to changing workplace situations.
  • Moreover, sales teams can greatly increase their efficiency by incorporating technology into their work processes. Those open to using new technologies to automate processes or generate analytics end up working more efficiently and can increase the productivity of your company. It’s no wonder then that top-performing sales teams are 2.3 times more likely than underperforming teams to use guided selling.

Video Interview E-Mail Invitation Template

To create a coherent and positive framework, use these 6 steps when inviting candidates to a video interview:


  1. Acknowledge and appreciate the applicant’s time to apply
  2. Explain why a video interview is necessary
  3. Explain how the video interview works
  4. Address possible concerns  
  5. Appeal to the benefits
  6. Debrief


How an email template for a video interview may look like: 


Hi [Candidate Name], 

Thank you for taking the time to apply for the position as [Position Name].
We're big believers in equal-access and seeing people for who they are and what they bring to the table, not their test scores. That's why we’d like to invite you to a video interview. 
This is how it works: As any interviewer would do, we try to understand what makes you unique. However, we recognize that we bring our own biases and preconceived notions (we don't mean to, promise) as an interviewer. So we're doing something about it: all you have to do is answer these short, predefined questions.

  1. You don’t need special equipment
  2. Try as many takes as you'd like, multiple attempts are fine
  3. You don’t have to download anything

By conducting a video interview you're showing us that a fair recruiting process matters to you. Additionally, you'll be able to receive faster feedback from us. Also don't worry about writing a cover letter---these questions help us get to know you in a more personal way.

[Link to the video interview]

Looking forward to hearing from you,


All the best

[Your Name]